Here's something I just invented: the How-You-Check-Out-A-New-Book-Personality-Test. For incredible insights into your truest self, please answer the following question:
When picking up a book for the first time, do you first:
1) Read the back cover?
2) Read the first sentence?
3) Examine the author's photo?
4) Flip through and read sentences at random, as you will with ten other books standing there in the book store/library/your living room until your feet fall asleep and you've completely forgotten who or where you are?
For me, it's #4. (By the way, if you answered #4, according to my proprietary How-You-Check-Out-A-New-Book-Personality-Test (TM), you are a most serious and brilliant reader.) Of course I read for a gripping story and unforgettable characters and all the things that we wallow in novels for, but there is also a special joy in sentences, in bits and bobs, and even in the connections between seemingly unconnected books.
Which is why I love The Infinite Book, a text made up of other texts
. What story is created when bits of other stories are jangled together like a pocketful of change? The result is surprisingly coherent, or anyway it can be. Bedtime stories are read, become nightmarish, blend into fact, meld into poetry. It's a lovely way to find a new book to read (clicking on each line gives you more information about the from which book it's been plucked) -- and a lovely way to think about reading. Reading as collecting, reading as an art form all its own.Check out the Infinite Book, from Bkclb.
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